Seventh-day Adventist Church president Ted N.C. Wilson prayed and shared biblical advice with a powerful Pakistani leader even as he encouraged church members to shine as a light in Pakistan.
Wilson, making his first visit to Pakistan, and an accompanying delegation were warmly welcomed by the leader of Pakistan’s Sindh province to his ornate Chief Minister House in Karachi, the country’s largest city and commercial hub, on June 9.
Wilson thanked Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for the religious freedom that the authorities grant people of all faiths, and he highlighted the Adventist Church’s efforts to build society and relieve suffering through ADRA, Karachi Adventist Hospital, and Pakistan Adventist Seminary and College.
“We want to provide assistance in every way as we follow in the ministry of Christ,” Wilson said.
“I hope, your excellency, that Adventists — although we are small in number in comparison to the general population — are the very best citizens possible,” Wilson added, smiling. “If they are not, tell me.”
Shah, a graduate of Stanford University in the U.S. state of California, chuckled and expressed familiarity with the 138-bed Karachi Adventist Hospital, established in 1947.
The Adventist Church has about 13,000 members in Pakistan, a country of 204 million people.
Sharing Leadership Advice
Wilson asked Shah whether he could share some leadership advice from the Bible. With the chief minister’s consent, he recited Micah 6:8 from memory, saying, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
“Your excellency, I would like to commend that to you,” Wilson said.
“Thank you very much,” Shah replied, smiling broadly.
Motioning to an aide for assistance, Shah draped an Ajrak scarf over Wilson’s shoulders and placed a Sindhi cap on his head. The scarf and cap are the traditional attire of the Sindh people in Sindh province and are presented to guests of honor. Shah also gave scarves and caps to those accompanying Wilson on his visit, including Wilson’s wife, Nancy; Samuel Saw, president of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, whose territory includes Pakistan; Adventist world church associate secretary Claude Richli; and Michael Ditta, president of the Adventist Church in Pakistan.